Body Image and Dysphoria: I hate my body. Why are my mind and genetics at odds?
I quit letting Mary Jane dominate my life about a month ago. As a result, I am not able to disassociate as easily from the pain of having this body. Look at myself in mirror is painful. having the wrong genitalia is making me wonder if I will ever be comfortable enough in my body to have sex again. I know I will need many surgeries. Will I be ever able to afford the medical care I so desperately need?
I went on a hike this weekend with a local group of lesbians. I had a really good time, as I often do with friends who allow me to live in the relationship, but when pictures of me started to be posted online I was just reminded of how masculine my features are. People tell me I have a great smile. Wonderful. I wish I could feel the same way. It’s hard sometimes to not feel like I went from being a beautiful man to being an average woman.
I have always had a heavy build even as a baby. I have a rather nordic build, am six feet and two and a stout hundred kilos. This causes me to envy other transwomen I meet whose skeleton does not immediately out them. Although I have met other xx women my height, they usually have a much more delicate bone structure. And I always feel a kinship with them, knowing haw we both cannot find clothes off the rack easily. I come from tall people. On my maternal grandmother’s side they are five foot ten women and six foot six men. I suppose my massive bones have been a benefit when I’ve been hit by cars, perhaps pain in life comes from many vectors, and this scar on my soul is what has impacted me.
I feel like my size often outs me. If I speak on the phone people cannot see how large I am, so they often misgender me and I have to correct them. It’s annoying, but feels like a minor point compared having doubts I will never be able to enjoy sex completely and without reservation.
I also realize that looking at my childhood my chronic depression has been lifelong. It never really hit me until the trifecta of my mother’s cancer, my parents breakup, and her death hit me at ages 9-12. It feels like a genetic predisposition, which, considering my paternal grandmother killed herself a couple of years before I was born it is quite likely.
Compared to other genetic dis-eases mine would perhaps seem trivial to most. I wish I could feel the same way. That I am still generally able bodied has probably increased my internalized guilt, shame, and transphobia for being who I am. I hope that through this process of writing perhaps I can better understand myself, and the cosmos I experience.
I was given some excellent advice by an older transwoman when I told her I was trying to pass, having just gone to living 24-7 as a woman a few months earlier. “Don’t” she said. “By trying to pass you only make yourself more nervous and will be more likely read by anyone you meet.
Now here at transadvocate.com is an excellent article on the perils of passing, and the difficult history of the term. I can also recommend the book “Nobody Passes“, an anthology of genderqueer perspectives.
Today I woke up to discover that I still have the growth between my legs. I think some part of my psyche is still shocked to discover the scrotum and penis there every morning, a useless stranger that just won’t go away. My genitals are so useless to me now. I struggle to think of some way that I can get surgery to correct the problem. I still don’t have the money. How can I get insurance that will cover it? I still don’t know. It depresses me, piles my body dread ever higher. Except for down there, everything else feels like it is where it should be physically.
I think part of me must still want to have kids, because every time a woman I know says she wants to get pregnant soon I have to bite my tongue to not offer my services as a sperm donor. I doubt I would have the patience to stop taking estrogen long enough to ressurect sperm production. I am too happy with the results to want to go back to hairy muscular stinky body of manhood. Even if I did, I have my doubts that my sperm production would even be adequate, never having gotten anyone pregnant in the past sleeping with women.
So now I must spend my day searching for employment so that I can continue to try to save for surgery. I don’t know if or when the day will ever come. In the meantime I will try to ignore the shame between my legs until it is time to wake again.